In the second of Hoy’s (Darkness and Light: Rise of the Omans, 2015) fantasy series, humans may hold the key to the survival of powerful beings from another world.
Having suffered betrayal, Auron, king of the Omans, ordered his people, the children of Light, back to Sonos. They’re returning from two pieces of dark matter, Luna and Terra, where the Omans, hoping to create new light by igniting the cores, were overrun by the Darkness and its Hollowed Minions. There was a life-form, however, on Terra, and they call themselves Humans, who are inexplicably thriving without light. Auron believes that the Humans can create new light to assure his people’s continued existence. On Sonos, lead engineer Relix reveals that she saved a Human male and female, but because their fragile bodies can’t survive outside of Terra’s atmosphere, Auron’s determined to return to them to their home planet. The king assembles another crew, including Auron’s lightmate, Akina. The plan is to reignite the cores of both Luna and Terra, where they may once again have to face off against the Darkness and Hollowed Minions, who thrive on mercilessly extinguishing the Omans’ lights. Championed by the Protector, who watches over the children of Light, Auron and the rest, with any luck, will vanquish their enemies and secure their future by keeping the Humans safe. Hoy’s sophomore outing shows signs of improvement over the preceding novel. The cast, for starters, is more clearly delineated. Merek’s got eyes for cook Osheida and vies for her attention, and one individual finds a way onto the ship, defying the king’s orders to stay on Sonos. The series’ already apparent religious theme (Omans strive “never to surrender to the Darkness”) becomes more pronounced and perhaps a bit too transparent: the two comatose Humans are called Etam and Ayva. Hoy injects stellar genre elements, including griffins and unicorns, and loads the plot with a good number of battle scenes. The story often feels like a retread, however, as the Omans’ mission is essentially the same as the first: create new light on Luna and Terra while contending with/resisting the Darkness.
A more polished and entertaining second installment covers much of the same ground as the first.